The year 2020 has been difficult and challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic which badly affected individuals, businesses, and economies at large. The healthcare system across countries was burdened like never before and we witnessed makeshift healthcare facilities being organized to accommodate the increasing number of infected patients. Rapid testing became important considering the rate at which the virus was spreading. Traditional methods of diagnosis took a few hours to get the reports, and hence scientists developed rapid testing kits, which could diagnose Covid-19 infection in less than 10 minutes. Quick detection was key to establish control over the disease. The surge in demand for rapid testing kits helps laboratories and healthcare organizations increase the number of tests per day, reduce the result time to 10 minutes, and effectively treat people at the right time. MedWay Onsite Health Solutions provides FDA authorized Coronavirus IgG and IgM rapid testing kit that has been instrumental in testing suspected Covid-19 cases. Why these rapid test kits have become essential for laboratories? How does it work? Read the blog to know the answers.
Connection Between Immunoglobulin & COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette
Although rapid testing is essential, rather than jumping to do the Covid-19 antigen test, most doctors recommend doing the RT-PCR test. This test is done using our blood sample to identify the presence of existing infections in our body. Also overt symptoms such as cough, cold, fever, sore throat, and so on are considered, before the possibility of Covid-19 infection is concluded.
Now, if the PCR test is positive, rapid antigen test is done to either confirm or rule out the presence of Covid-19 antibodies in a given sample. Immunoglobulins play a key role here. Basically, immunoglobulins are a crucial part of our immune system, which help fight off antigens of various viruses, bacteria, and other pathogenic organisms. As an immune system response to ward off infection, our body makes these immunoglobulins of various types depending upon the infection.
IgG is one type of immunoglobulin abundantly present in all bodily fluids, which fights off the antigens of the pathogen present. IgM is a type of immunoglobulin present in the lymphatic fluid and blood, which fights off a new infection. Other than these two there are various types of immunoglobulins made by our body. However, in case of an accurate-19 diagnosis, a combination of IgG and IgM has been proved to be ideal. This combination when used in rapid testing kits, helps detect the presence or absence of Covid-19 antibodies in our blood. You get the result in a matter of minutes using just a couple of drops of blood sample. If the test is positive, there is a chance of Covid-19 infection.
COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette, Symptoms, and FDA Recommendations
These kits are not meant for home use, and this is based on the rules formulated by FDA. This rapid antigen test must be performed by a licensed practitioner or lab technician. Also, these professionals do it only in case of high-emergency settings according to the recommendation by FDA. Also, these test need to be performed in the specified window, wherein a person has specific symptoms. It may not detect the antibodies if performed late. This is also one of the reasons why serological tests are recommended as they have a long window of detection. In traditional tests, you can obtain accurate result even after the symptoms fade or disappear, which can help detect the virus after post-infection. The fact that Covid-19 has some common symptoms which may occur in case of normal flu, cold or cough. Some people may not have any symptoms at all or just get a mild cold. Some of the commonly noticed Covid-19 symptoms are:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
An individual may exhibit some of these symptoms or more severe ones like hypoxia, or apnea, depending upon various factors such as the person’s immunity, if the virus has entered the respiratory system, pre-existing health condition, and prevalent diseases such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders.
Steps to Use These Test Kits
Here are the steps to use the rapid testing kit and obtain accurate results for Covid-19 diagnosis:
- The plasma component of the blood has rather been in the news because of Covid-19 as here its antibodies are found the most. This is one reason why plasma donations of infected and cured patients hold significance. However, rapid antigen testing, can be performed with a fingerstick using venous whole blood, fingerstick whole blood, serum or plasma specimens.
- The seal of the test kit should be opened only when you are ready to add the blood sample.
- Clean the puncture site with alcohol prep pad.
- Perform a fingerstick and pipe blood to fill line using a capillary tube or micropipette.
- Transfer 1 drop of whole blood into the specimen well of the test device, then add 2 drops of buffer to start a 15-minute wait time. Do not read results less than 15 minutes or after 30 minutes.
- The kit has three parts- C (control), M (IgM), and G (IgG). The C line serves as a procedural control, and should always appear with a red line, indicating that membrane wickening is working.
- The G line becomes colored in case of an IgG positive test, while the M line turns colored in case of an IgM positive test. If the IgG and IgM combined test is positive, then all three lines will appear colored. This means the person is Covid-19 positive, and needs to be quarantined for two weeks. The person would be asked to get an IgG test done after 10 to 12 days, depending upon the symptoms, to check if the test is negative.
- In case of a negative test, only the C line remains colored (red), while the other two lines are colorless.
- The test is invalid if there are no results even after 15 minutes or the C line remains blue.
- This test kit can either be refrigerated or stored at room temperature.
- It has a shelf life of up to two years.
- Based on the incubation period of the virus, the IgM type may be detected in the sample within 3-5 days for symptomatic individuals, and up to 7 days for asymptomatic individuals. This indicates recent Covid-19 infection.
- The IgG type can be detected in 1-2 weeks after initial infection. The IgG positive test indicates that your immune system has warded off the Covid-19 infection successfully and that the virus was present in your body. Although the duration of time antibodies are present post-infection is not well characterized, individuals may have detectable virus present for several weeks following seroconversion
Wearing masks in public places, social distancing, and frequent handwashing with soap are instrumental in reducing risk of infection and the prevention of cross contamination. This is essential practice, at least until the vaccine is introduced and widespread vaccinations occur throughout the nation. Please contact MedWay Onsite team via phone or email for additional questions, to order Covid antibody test kits, or to schedule onsite services.